Crime Clusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 22 mts, 9dys: Onward to a Backpedal?

 

April’s Fool is over and somehow I think Jack Warner is still on the National Security Council, but the issue on everyone’s front burner today is, will the People’s Partnership mash up? It seems from day one of this partnership we’ve been sitting around waiting to point out the cracks, waiting for them to “pull ah Nar” and split up after a “Club 88″.  Coalition governments historically have been viewed with suspicion, especially since 1971 to present all coalition governments have pretty much come together to unseat the PNM….and they have either imploded before the actual election or exploded  not too long after gaining victory. Analysts who weighed in on the Partnership last year pointed out weaknesses that for all intents and purposes still there. There are no new politics, no accountability, no enervation of the economy or a comprehensive crime plan yet.

It is understandable then, that there are concerns about the longevity of this partnership. Meetings resume today with all members. And there are concerns that last week’s positions on the Mayorgate issue have changed.

Yesterday, the COP held emergency meetings at their offices in Charlieville and  leader Prakash Ramadhar has assured that  he will protect the partnership. does this smell like a back-pedal from last week’s position to you?  Meanwhile Anil Roberts, who didn’t attend yesterday’s meeting says insiders are causing problems. And he lashed out at Vernon de Lima.

To add fuel to the Partnership’s fire, the Generation Next faction of the UNC are no questioning the legitimacy of Marlene Coudray’s UNC membership, and thereby her validity as a candidate for the party’s recently held internal elections.  Roodal Moonilal, on whose slate Coudray entered the UNC’s political fray, remained as inappropriate as ever with his responses to Panday’s queries. Moonilal questioned Panday’s right to question the election, perhaps forgetting that she is a member of the party, and if in only that respect has a right to ask questions about the party she is a member of. Ms Panday also raised questions about the UNC’s voter list….an issue that COP MP Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan has also made statements on.

Two things hit the news this weekend that I think quite important. There is now a 100% increase in departure tax. I suppose given the state of the economy the government needs to raise taxes…but when you read that story the justification for the increase seems fuzzy at best.

Then there is the snafu between our govt, primary shareholders in TSTT, and Cable and Wireless.  It’s no secret that this government has made many mistakes with how it negotiates international deals and tenders. It’s made the papers, The Keith has raised it in parliament. The US and Japan pissed with us over a trade agreement; didn’t we also face legal action over the OPV contracts? Now C&W threatening legal action? But what to say when your board is made up questionable people…..Ravi Ratiram is the deputy chairman….anyone from UWI reading this blog? Then you already know where I going with this!

Well the week now start and we already on tenterhooks waiting for the latest episode of the soap opera to unfold!

Rigged voter lists, questionable members and memberships of parties and boards, nepotism, corruption, public abuse of funds……sigggghhhhhh.

 

De Vice Cyah Done

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TWICKS (This Week In Clusterf@$KS March 26th – 31st): Wardrobe Malfunctions!

Guiness anyone? Photo courtesy Trinidad Express website.

Jack Warner just got appointed to the National Security Council, so whether you are aware of it or not, we are officially a country of  April Fools. But to the victor (of the UNC Internal Elections goes the spoils). Jack is probably the only performing minister in Kamla’s government these days and since crime continues to plague her and us maybe the Minister of everything will be able to help….when he done solve we crime problem is best she give him Dookeran portfolio too.

My mother has this saying she uses when a person is unwittingly showing his or her true colours: “ahhhhh (insert name) yuh petticoat showing!”

This government has been having wardrobe malfunctions from it’s first month in office and it continues. Is like they need a seamstress. But the wardrobe malfunctions have been glaring this week and I want to discuss a few of them.

Gimme Ah Diesel Riddim to start….

If you missed the PM crudely waving 2 cannisters of oil and announcing that God is a Trini, then surely you heard the non-stop radio ads announcing the Jubiliee Discovery by Petrotrin all day Friday and Saturday….or maybe you managed to miss Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial on CNC3 Friday evening announce that we have an oil boom. It’s not uncommon for oil to be found off our shores…it’s how we’ve been making a living in Trinidad and Tobago for about a century. But last Thursday our leader of Government revealed just how desperate she is to give Trinbagonians hope in their economic future as well as to distract them from the chaos that is her government.

Keep in mind that this is a government that has promised economy diversification in their 7 Pillars of Development Plan, aka 2010 Manifesto. To date we have seen few signs of any real thrust at diversification…and we all know why, to diversify, you need to take the self same oil money and invest it into other areas…..but if that oil money being poured into projects to line the pockets of friends and cronies and to fund projects that are normally funded off international loans, then you aint have too much $$$$ remaining to invest, eh?

The PM barely rest down the cannisters before objections to her claim began. The Keith exposed her tactics as naked politics, and Colm Imbert, a man I often find annoying, gave a pretty comprehensive explanation as to why he’s not impressed by the oil find.  Couple Imbert’s comments with David Renwick’s article about our plummeting crude production situation and the comments from other energy industry heads about the PM jumping the gun on the oil find…not boom Ms Ramdial… and you’ll realise that Kamla is beyond desperate these days. The economy is stagnant. Add that to the TCL strike, on the heels of a 107-day SoE that crippled several industries and markets, and a less than stellar Carnival (don’t let CAL figures about arrivals distract you, Port of Spain’s streets were less crowded this year) and right now, people aren’t seeing any blue skies. So, being the spin and PR machine that they are, the Govt decided to blow the current oil find out of proportion and make it appear as if we turning the bend and soon everyone will be swimming in dollars again. It is economist Dhaneshwar Mahabir who tore Kamla’s claims down to its brass tacks when he announced that 48 million barrels represents about $150m in revenue….when you place that against our annual budget of $50bn….it’s not even a drop in the bucket. When you consider that almost $100m was spent just on Carnival….study yuh head good and ask how many members of the group Kamla keeps calling the “common man” going to really benefit from that oil find. Smoke and Mirrors folks….nothing to see here! We find oil…the solution to every problem….meanwhile the economy, that depending on this plummeting oil production still waiting to be diversified. But when PR music inside yuh brain…you feel no pain. Put yuh canister in the air and wave like yuh mad!

San Fernando Mayor Marlene Coudray

 

Gyal Bend Over….

This gyal, she wukking up ah storm

Wining in ah circle, watch how she perform

She leave COP and jump to UNC

Become deputy leader

got Prakash on he knees!

Marlene Coudray has without a doubt created a far bigger storm than this tea cup partnership can contain. Like many others, when Marlene jumped ship…or was poached…depending on how you want to look at it, I was unperturbed. I live through Rupert Griffith and Vincent Lasse crossing the floor, Marlene Coudray go stun me?

But is when COP Leader Prakash Ramadhar started to zest up he self and talk about poaching, and wanting back the mayorship whose “allocation” was given to him that I start to pause and check out the thing. It seems that Local Govt Politics has its own morality as well. at first I didn’t understand why Ramadhar felt it was his right to choose the mayor until I realised that in local government elections it’s the party with the most seats that consults with the councillors and other pertinent bodies to select a mayor. And since is a coalition government we have, and not a coalition party, the Fyzabad Accord (which beginning to sound like a kaiso) apparently delineated which parties within the coalition would get to determine which mayorships went to whom. So the COP got Arima and San Fernando as part of their historic 2010 scramble for Trinidad and Tobago. What startled me was that these arrangements were ironed out since May 2010, and Local Government Elections happened in July of 2010…so these parties were very confident of victory.

On the basis of this understanding, I felt that Prakash was well within his right to determine who is the mayor of Sando. The PP can’t determine it because it isn’t a party….but the COP and UNC are…and the COP was told Sando was under it’s remit. So, then, you ask yourself, what’s the problem? Well no one wants to say…least of all Winston Dookeran who living up to the nickname Duck and Run these days because he won’t answer any question you pose to him about the government or his party, the COP, straight……maybe that is the price you pay if you have your eyes on higher office. What is clear though is that Coudray’s claims that the COP didn’t elect/appoint/nominate her might have some truth to it, since a recent interview with businesswoman Daphne Bartlett indicates that the current leader of the COP may be misleading the country into believing that Coudray had been their pick. There is talk that Marlene wasn’t really the COP pick, that it was instead  a prominent doctor from South Trinidad. There is talk that the COP was forced to choose Coudray. There is talk that Coudray is tipped to run in the expected by-election for San Fernando East….earlier this week there was talk that the PM would give in to Ramadhar’s request, give him the mayorship, and give Coudray the position of Vice-President of the Senate…thereby bussing Lyndira Oudit’s throat. There has been much talk….so much talk that the heads of the coalition government talked for 5 hours on Friday evening and the COP executive, MPs etc are meeting at 9 am this morning to talk some more….and all of this becauase Marlene Coudray exercised her right to change her political mind!

Prakash Ramadhar (far left) and Kamla Persad-Bissessar (far right) in happier days.

In the last 22 months we have been bombarded with non-stop examples of how strong this political panchayat is. But it is during this week that the seams, cracks and petticoat hemlines began to show themselves to the rest of the country. An article in the Trinidad Express this week had top COP officials lamenting that the party was being destroyed from day one of the coalition government. Now, is time to ask yourselves a few questions. If the UNC was calling the shots from day one, or engaging in abusive behaviour, why get into political bed with them? Why wait so long to speak out on the issues within the party? Is it a case of a battered woman taking and taking and cyah take no more? Or is it a case of protecting your political privileges now because is not just your dignity that being taken away, is your money too?

The COP as a political entity has been a vast disappointment to its membership. Anyone can tell you that they were the Trojan Horse (Virus) in which the UNC came to power. All non-unc voters stained their fingers for the PP because they felt that the COP would provide a buffer to the UNC, a party that since it’s 1995-2000 term has been seen as corrupt, nepotistic and ethnocentric. And the current behaviour of many members of the party have established that the behaviour hasn’t changed. But, where the COP should have jumped in to provide checks and balances and be the voice of the people who voted them in and reflect their principles, the COP’s leaders and members have remained either sickeningly silent or eager to please in a psychophant way. Remember that it is Prakash Ramadhar who defended Reshmi Ramnarine’s appointment as the SIA head…then back pedal and say he don’t know the woman. The COP also supported the SoE wholeheartedly, even though within their ranks they knew it was a bad idea that would end disastrously. But on the evening that the  SoE was announced Prakash was sitting at the Pink Palace in Phillipines lending support. The COP recently helped defeat the Motion of No Confidence against the PM…and to date I have heard no comments from the COP about the PM’s abuse of  the official state residence, her use of her sister as a travel assistant, her maintenance of not one, but two residences as PM, the abuse of the govt travel card by 2 Govt Ministers and a whole host of other issues. Instead Ramadhar has joined the behaviour of the UNC in Parliament, calling the Opposition Leader names like corbeaux while delivering speeches…and I had to think et tu Prakash?

When the COP talks about country first politics, which country are they referring too? Is is some imaginary space that I don’t know about? Their entire approach to politics from day one has been just as selfish and abusive of the country, as the UNC’s has been abusive of them. They have bowed, scraped and fought to remain in the powers of corridor not to help the country but to be able to help themselves. This party has had numerous opportunities to retain its integrity and actually serve the interests of the people that voted it in to power. It’s 22 months and 8 days of governance by this PP government and the first time the COP took a firm stance on an issue was when the party felt it was going to lose the  Mayorship of San Fernando….and when you understand how local government projects run and the kind of money it can generate, you will realise that is not the political position they vex about so much as the economic and political largesse that they stand to lose once this mayorship is out of their hands…in short funding and contracts folks…yes…it boils down to $$$$$ and cents!

If Kamla backs down and gives Prakash what he wants, the COP may win a political battle, but for me, the mere fact that this is what finally galvanised Ramadhar into action shows me precisely where his mind is at…on the money…the ministerial positions…the power.

If Kamla doesn’t back down, then this is the COP’s last opportunity to salvage the little that might be left of its reputation with its core supporters. Make a stand, and position yourselves in Parliament in a way that you can effect real change when it comes to laws and legislation….and Prakash while you at it..can you and Vernon provide some real evidence to arrest Calder Hart….it looking bad that all all yuh produce since Jan/Feb 2010 is Sherine Hart’s birthpaper….where the evidence all yuh promise? Because like Anand Ramlogan can’t do the work that we giving him millions of dollars to do.

Leader of Buffonery in Parliament

Before I run off, there is one more little issue I want to raise….Roodal Moonilal. As Leader of Government Business he is a failure. I have taken to thinking of him as Leader of Buffoonery in the Parliament. At first I thought Moonilal was just overeager and underinformed…but I realise now that Moonilal’s modus operandi is to actually use the cover of parliament to slander, libel and attack with impunity. The latest incident is his accusing Noel Garcia of abusing a Govt Travel Card and owing the govt $.5m dollars. Interestingly enough the Hansard Records of late 2010 show that Moonilal had raised the issue 2 years ago, within its proper context…as a loan from the HDC and had asked where the payments were. Two years later, under pressure because not one, but at least 2 ministers were caught abusing the public purse Moonilal used information he had at hand and misrepresented it in Parliament. Suddenly the loan Garcia was approved for from the HDC board (HDC is a bank?) becomes a government travel card. The travel card’s limit is US$10,000. So how would Garcia have been able to spend $.5m????? And let’s for the sake of argument say it happened…back in 2007….the new government aint do anything about it yet after 22 months in government? It was so obvious that Moonilal was using his parliamentary privilege to take potshots at a private citizen who was not in a position to immediately defend himself….and for that Moonilal you are NASTY! Because you haven’t even had the good grace to come out and apologise. And this is recurrent behaviour with you…I haven’t forgotten how you lied on the people of Beetham and how you blamed diesel bunkering activities on them and never came back to correct your lies. Is this what the Parliament has come to?  A place where we  lie on citizens and attempt to pass faulty laws?

Then is best we shut down parliament and open up a theatre of the absurd!

This govt has shown in the past week that it is self-serving, dishonest, abusive, nepotistic….and led by a “special needs” woman who will go to any end to fool the people, fool the people, fool the people! Somebody dress tail cock up!

 

De Vice Cyah Done!

 

Crime Clusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 22mts, 4dys: Partnership or Jump Ship?

COP Leader Prakash Ramadhar

It’s getting closer and closer to the day of reckoning for the COP in this political alliance that they in. Will Prakash Ramadhar make the decision to jump ship? Or will he boil down like a pot of young bhagi and continue to accept the UNC’s brand of political friendship?

In remaining as an active partner in the People’s Panchayat Govt Prakash stands to secure benefits only for people who are sitting ministers and in the government’s good books; and at the same time be tainted by the foul smell that seems to accompany much of the policies from this government.

This current impasse between the COP and the UNC over Marlene Coudray may well be the COP’s last chance to prove itself an independent political body as opposed to the political parasite it now appears to be. The COP squandered similar opportunities in the past when it supported and endorsed the SoE and further rallied behind the UNC-dominated government in the recent Motion of No Confidence. Perhaps more than any other opportunity, the MONC was their biggest opportunity to credibly establish themselves as the voice of reason in a Parliament that seems to have gone mad….instead, many of the current COP members chose to get up and defend questionable PP policies and this is bound to come back to haunt them.

Yesterday Prakash Ramadhar issued his first real threatening growl… and not surprisingly, it happened not over some issue of policy or political illegality…but because the COP thinks it is losing its grip on power. In  The Express‘ lead story today Ramadhar is quoted as saying:

“The allocation of the mayorship of San Fernando to the COP was an essential element of the agreement that led to the coming together in other areas such as Tunapuna and Diego Martin.

“The issue, therefore, is really the attempt to take the mayorship of San Fernando and abandon the People’s Partnership by trampling on the Fyzabad Declaration. If this is not redressed, it could well mean the destruction of People’s Partnership and the dashing of the hopes of the nation. The COP will not be pushed aside and allow this hijack to take place.”

The bit in the quote that intrigues me is “the allocation of the mayorship”…kill me dead a local government election took place and people “voted” a mayor and councillors in….I didn’t realise that the mayorship was allocated. Is it that part of the Fyzabad Accord was that the various sectors of this partnership cut up a map of Trinidad and Tobago and decided, “Here Prakash, this your territory. And here Kamla, you see all here so, that is your territory…Jack, you could hold on to Tobago…” Really? I’d be interested to find out what Mr Ramadhar means by the “allocation of the mayorship”.  No wonder he and Joseph Toney have been using the word poached.

If the signing of the accord is dim in your memory check it out here. And I am hearing that the mayorship of San Fernando was part of the accord….not sure how one party can promise another party the allocation of a mayorship. If anyone knows drop me a line.

But judging from the recent story in the Trinidad Guardian that documents the break down of relations between Coudray and the COP since 2010….there are a lot of questions to be answered on either side….especially since Coudray is saying that the COP never helped win the mayorship….and she seems well prepared to take up her mayorship marbles and join the next team. but there is a coalition meeting today…let’s see what transpires. I could tell you this….I can’t see Marlene giving up her Mayorship, or returning to the COP…..

Maybe the PM will find a way to placate both….give Prakash what he wants and give Marlene a more prominent, juicier post? Is Lyndira under the axe?

In light of this political analyst Winford James thinks the Fyzabad Accord needs to be revisited.

I also think that the COP is on shaky ground in other ways….in light of the revelation yesterday by CoP Gibbs that there isn’t yet enough evidence to arrest Calder Hart one wonders where is all of the documental evidence that Ramadhar and de Lima promised in 2010 after securing the birth paper of Sherrine Hart? Is the birthpaper thus far the only evidence to link Calder Hart to Sunway?

In other news, it seems Min of Health Fuad Khan intends to seek cabinet approval to sell the property that the St. Ann’s hospital is on. He has stated an intention to use the money from the sale to build similar centres/hospitals in communities throughout the country. That’s a prime piece of real estate folks, I wonder which private consortium of local businessmen interested in buying it?

It appears that PantyGate has gone onto another rounds in the battle between the Maha Sabha and Sita Gajadharsingh-Nanga. It appears that the beleaguered principal has taken legal action to prevent her transfer.

Law Association elections have been put off to accommodate State Lawyers.

The Tobago tourism industry is still experiencing the backlash of the SoE and they are insisting that a better marketing thrust is needed to bring income back up to the pre-SoE levels. They are also concerned about the impact the attack on the UK couple has had globally.

And in media news it seems that Ken Gordon’s One Caribbean Media is buying Louis Lee Sing’s Citadel group of Companies….will Tony and Dale be muzzled now?

De Vice Cyah Done!

 

UPDATE: ok, folks, quick and dirty update….I am advised that while councillors are elected, the mayor of a borough, city or town is actually appointed. This means that from since May 2010 the PP was convinced they’d be successful at the Local Govt Elections and were well within their right to say they would allocate the San fernando Mayorship…and having promised such an allocation, Prakash is well within his right to ramajay….in this light, I think the PM will accede to Ramadhar’s request and give the COP the San Fernando mayorship and give Coudray another post….no mash-up!

Crime Clusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 22mts, 2dys:

Nothing new to see here folks, the country still buzzing over Jack Warner’s sound beating of Ashvani Mahabir at the UNC Internal Elections. 12,000 votes, and in his own inimicable style, Warner has promised to find the 14 people from his constituency who voted against him and try to meet their needs.

Of course Warner’s win has sparked off conversation about whether the UNC is a post-race party….a term that’s being bandied about loosely. But until the UNC stops treating with Trinidad andTobago as a bi-racial country, until they stop acting as if the only two ethnic groups living here are Africans and Indians, then I can’t consider them anything but “racial” in how they approach the politics of the country. Please note the use of the word racial, as opposed to racist. Like governments before them the tendency is to focus on only the two major ethnic groups of the country….very few people acknowledge the many other ethnic minorities that live here….and until the UNC moves away from their bi-polar/bi-racial approach to national politics….they aren’t post-race…..and the party really isn’t a viable option for the many people in the non-Indian demographic. Many non-Indian supporters of the UNC will actually tell you they are COP who just want to see the back of the PNM.

In light of the low voter turn-out, one wonders if this internal elections is something for the UNC to be proud of. The UNC is the major party of  a govt coalition, and on a Saturday, a day that allows people enough flexibility to slot in the time necessary for voting, didn’t vote. The election was plagued with irregularities, yet both Warner and Moonilal have been talking about the party’s integrity, transparency and generally saying that the elections were a success for the party. I’m not so sure….and whether it’s sour grapes or not, at least Fuad Khan had the good grace to note that 80% of the party’s support base rejected the party over the weekend. And it seems that even David Manning, son of former PM Patrick Manning, was overwhelmed with joy over Moonilal’s victory as Deputy Political Leader of the party. Moonilal insists that the young Manning is not being poached by the party…it really would make little difference to the party’s or Manning’s credibility if you ask me.

So, Marlene won, and I feel quite certain that this lady’s political ascent has only begun. Keep an eye on the Coudray folks, from troublesome mayor, to troublesome COP member, too…follow where I going with this…keep an eye on it. I still find it hard to understand how after joining the party a week away from its internal elections Marlene managed to drum up over 7000 votes….are we saying that UNC members vote for slates and not for the policies and values that the individual stands for?

The greenpaper on Self Government for Tobago is out. The AG, who we aint hear from in a while, couldn’t resist pointing out that the PNM didn’t consider this in 2010…and that the PP making good on it’s manifesto promise of 2010….I’ll wait to hear Orville’s word on it An&, especially since the last I heard the paper not really in the interest of Tobagonians at all.

Permanent Secretaries came under fire in Parliament on Friday and I and all wondering what responsibility if any do these people have to properly managing our government? Should the state abuse of public funds we’ve been seeing under this regime and other actually fall into their lap of responsibility?

And the latest on the strike is that TCL, 5 weeks into strike action, is on the verge of financial collapse. How did that happen….how can 5 weeks of strike cripple a company this bad, unless it was being mismanaged before?

And finally, Machel could stop hugging up he “boddle of rhuummm” and hug up Kavelle and give thanks for his many victories this year….and we looking forward to the HD remix of the Wedding March…Heh HAAAA!

The week now start folks…it early yet.

De Vice Cyah Done!

TWICKS (This Week in Clusterf@$KS: March 19-25th) Elections, Ejections, Insurrections…and Good Family Values

And the parodies of Kamla continue. Photos today all courtesy memgenerator.net.

 

How you think Suruj Rambachan take he coffee this morning after Jack Warner’s win as party chairman? Black and bitter?

Well, as I predicted, Jack is Back and is not we say so, is the people say so!

Following a UNC internal election that was fraught with problems: voters being turned away,  

Voters not finding their names on the list even though some of them were lifetime members, and an extremely low voter turn out, that not even UNC Elections Chairman Khemchan Ramdath wants to comment on. According to Sampson Nanton, of CNC 3, who was at the Rienzi Complex last night, UNC voter turn out was approximately 13,000; this is from a list of 81,000 registered voters.  When questioned about the low turnout, Ramdath quickly corrected Nanton and said he “feel” the number is actually closer to 20,000. That didn’t make it better…this is a party that swept to victory in 2010 with hundreds of thousands of people voting for it….it’s registered list of voters is 81,000 and barely 20% of its electorate turned out to vote….Are the party members disentchanted? Is it that they didn’t know yesterday was the Internal Elections? That can’t be…because Herbert Volney text me twice and people from Jack Warner’s camp was actually making phone calls…even to PNM members, to come out an vote. So what, pray tell, accounts for the low voter turn out yesterday. And how can the PM claim that yesterday’s elections shows democracy when there were all of these flaws and discrepancies?

Is she lying? Being ironic? Or being disingenuous?

I can’t begin to tell you the concerns this raises for me with the 2015 General Elections about voter turn-out, as well as the transparency of voting lists. Why is it that in an election process that described itself as open, free and fair, so many people couldn’t have access to the voting lists? The UNC really needs to check itself, the party’s name has become synonymous with corruption, deceit, malpractice, litigation and lots of other generally nasty things. And considering that a significant sector of this country regards the party as the “Indian” party and representative of the “Indian” demographic, by proxy, people are going to associate the party’s negative image with its supporters….lemme break it down: If the party corrupt, then its supporters corrupt…..and you know how does generalise in Trinidad and Tobago…If people saying the supporters corrupt it will soon be “all indians corrupt”. Watch yourself UNC, you are doing a disservice to your supporters with your questionable activities.

Well, everybody know Marlene Coudray removed herself from the COP this week….a self-ejection that had the politics hot. Word is this morning that new comer Coudray beat Fuad “Card” Khan for the position of 3rd deputy political leader in the UNC internal elections. But that aint even the juiciest piece of Marlene’s story….after all that bluster and grand charge from Joseph Toney and Prakash Ramadhar this week; and all the comments about how the “poaching” of party members by the UNC is a dangerous thing etc…and Marlene taunting Prakash to say she is not an egg, she can’t be poached (10 pts to Marlene with that inaccurate response to a word whose meaning she unclear on)…is to wake up this morning and find out that is more than the pestle in the mortar and that COP’s relationship with Marlene Coudray very complicated and shaky since 2010.

So it appears that Marlene knew precisely what she meant when she told journalists earlier this week that she stopped being an active COP member almost two years now. And Prakash….I don’t need to tell you that the current story that bubbling up from through the cracks of your party’s information channels smelling bad!

It’s been another week of protests in south Trinidad, from Claxton Bay to Mayaro. we had that sterling bit of behaviour from MP Winston Gypsy Peters this week that indicated only too well the People’s Panchayat govt’s position on political patrimony…we only here to serve our people….not PNM people…..the PM, as ever, was mum on Gypsy’s outburst. Her refusal to address any controversial issue head on has become my favourite feature of female leadership. Because whenever I hear any of the feminists defending her cry for “special needs” as a female PM, I think yes, of course….sealant for her lips to avoid explanation or accountability for any and all matters of state that require actual leadership!

The strike at TCL has also taken on a sinister tone, with a lot of violence and each side labelling the other terrorist. Errol of Clan McLeod, aka the Labour Minister, is treading cautiously as mediator of the negotiations. I can almost hear him now…Boromir style: One does not simply intervene between TCL Management and OWTU Protestors!

But the biggest story this week has to be Squandermania inna 4D….aka Family Values…aka the PM the big spender and minder of her entire family on the State’s pocket.

This week several stories made it’s way to the surface:

It is alleged that Kamla used the Govt Visa Travel card to pay for her Machel Monday pumped up kicks..aka $5000 Louis Vs.

It is alleged that Kamla pays almost $2000 daily to have her hair done. It is also alleged that she fired Bally as her hair dresser mere weeks ago because he had become too pricey and has instead hired a Filipino woman to dress her hair. This hair dresser is housed in a hotel at the State’s expense. Mind you, the PM’s official residence has a hair dressing salon in it….why doesn’t the PM just use her hair dresser there? Could it be she doesn’t actually live there?

It is printed in the newspaper, that Kamla’s sister Vidwattie Newton, who she swears she pays out of her own pocket, received a check from the govt in 2010 that Nicole Dyer is now claiming is a per diem for travelling with her sister on some trip or the other. The PNM has promised to keep the heat on the matter.

It is alleged that Vidwattie Newton, 2 sons and 1 other nephew live at the PM’s official residence while the PM herself lives at her private home in Phillipines.

It has been stated categorically by Minister of Foreign Affairs, sew…Suruj Rambachan that the PM’s use of state funds to look after her family, and her use of not one, but two residences, is actually as a result of values she acquired from growing up in an extended family and therefore, we should be happy, and stop criticising the PM because in practising nepotism and abuse of state funds the PM is in fact an exemplar of good family values.

It is now alleged that an elevator that was purshased by the state to be installed in an HDC building has been deployed to another State building, the PM’s official residence. There will now be another elevator in the PM’s residence to allow her to get to her bedroom more comfortably.

This PM has surpassed Patrick Manning for her open abuse of public funds. To date the lavishness of the PM’s official residence is what can be pinned on Manning…and his defence is a simple one…it belongs to the State. How does the Kamla justify leaving her family to live at the state’s expense and then having taxpayers support  the upkeep, security and maintenance of a second home? And all of this money is being squandered during harsh economic times….so the the average Trinbagonian who ketching dey arse to make ends meet, gets to hear about the PM and her friends and family, living it up!

Kamla has gone quickly from being a breath of fresh air, and symbol of new politics to smelling like something decayed and stale. She is colonial politics dressed up in expensive clothes, hair and make-up and made to look modern. But the citizens know the difference….that’s what accounts for the low voter turnout even from her support base and the daily criticism from her objectors and opposition.

And in the manner of all foolish leaders in this country Kamla has now become a joke to be parodied around the internet in various jokes and memes….and at this rate….she’s going to be a historical footnote in our political history come 2015.

In other news, the murder toll is now 86 murders for the year thus far. TSTT CEO resigns under protests and West Indies beating Australia in One Day games…it could only be 2012 folks.

Have a great week!

DE VICE CYAH DONE!

Crime Clusterf@$k/Political Pantomime: 22months….Squandermania inna 4D and UNC Elections!

Mor Tor, Mor Tor, lawa i lai....Warner mixing it up with supporters as he campaigns for UNC internal elections. Photo courtesy Guardian website.

So today is the big day folks…..will Jack remain as party chairman….that is the only reason anybody outside of the UNC party even paying attention to these elections.

I don’t think that anyone feels Generation Next stands a fighting chance.

And Roodimonster’s slate, anchored by Marlene Coudray seems to be the clear favourites in an election that has been fraught with tensions from the get go.

My pick for UNC Chairman is Jack. I feel Warner savvy enough to school Ashvani today.

The Empress and her Extended Family....photo courtesy PNM Abroad.

Squandermani inna 4D!

Well it beginning to look like Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her Small Goal team planning to out-do the PNM on every level.

When is not first class trips for Vidwattie, is to find out that Vidwattie getting checks from the government that she aint cash for the year and her address is listed as the Office of the Prime Minister!

When is not checks to Vidwattie is to hear that Vidwattie and her sons living at the PM’s residence and using the official cars and outriders….and is tax payers have to support that….as well as support Kamla in her private residence in Phillipine, SanFernando….and then you have Suruj Rambachan coming to tell the nation that they should be happy about this abuse of Public Funds because it shows good family values…..this is kismehtail nonsense!

Last week the rumour was that Kamla paid for the Louis Vuitton boots out of the Govt Travel Card…no clear confirmation yet…now we are hearing that her current hairdressing costs are $2000…..a day!

I’m just waiting on the picture of her shoe closet!

One wonders what exactly causing people to excuse so much nonsense from Kamla…gender or ethnicity?

Had any past Prime Minister used State resources in a such a nepotistic way so blatantly there would have been such an outcry….yet,  everyone and their Volney….especially the feminazi squad seem to be rushing to Kamla’s defence despite the fact that what she is doing is immoral and possibly illegal as well…but maybe that is good cultural values….

In the midst of all the bad governance that we are experiencing daily, one question that has reared in my mind regularly is what is the public service’s role in all of this mismanagement. When Vasant Bharath appropriated the Ministry’s Porsche for his own personal use, my first question had been where is the Perm sec in all of this…what did Mrs Leacock have to say. In the cases of Shoppin Toppin and Fuad Card, why was their no input from the Min of Finances Perm Sec on the abuses that took place….now I seeing that there are no systems in place for assessing Permanent Secretaries… surely as the chief administrators of the Public  Service they too should be held accountable for some of this government’s misstepping…some eh…..not ALL…not by a long shot.

Speaking of good family values….I finally have something good to say about the COP….the executive for Lopinot/Bon Air West have Lincoln Douglas under pressure for under performance…..WETTING!

TCL continues to be a war zone…and while McLeod condemning the violence… Roget saying that TCL’s labour policies is the real act of terrorism.

Today, Fuad Khan….lately of the credit card abuse scandals, has announced that is more fete than madness going on in st. Ann’s because 60% of the people housed there don’t have mental illness, but their family just don’t want to mind them!

Maybe their family don’t have good cultural values Mr Khan….or maybe their family don’t have the entire treasury at their disposal…or the wherewithal and skill to look after their relatives….question is though….is st. Ann’s running efficiently? Is it treating its patients properly?

TSTT is the latest company to be embroiled in protests and kuchoor…. keep an eye on this one folks…it could hit us hard where it matters….communication! You know trinis cyah be without their blackberries, Androids and Iphones.

Lemme head down to Rienzi now and ask Herbert Volney where he get my cell number from to be texting me to vote for he to set me free with the UNC!

 

De Vice Cyah Done!

Crime Clusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 21mts, 27dys: Poached and Scrambled Eggs!

So the talk is that Marlene Coudray say in a UNC forum last night that she is not an egg….she can’t be poached…..she knows who her leader is….does Prakash know who his leader is??????
Them’s fighting words boy!

Prakash….response?

Ummm, Marlene, when people talked about poaching, they meant illegal hunting, not cooking….just saying….I’m sure the UNC has gotten a gem of a political mind in you.

So the PM under heat for the house in La Fantaisie. Anybody remember that she had condemned the house? Called it the Prime Ministerial Palace and vowed that she would never live there??????
Well it seems like this may be the one promise the PM has kept from her 2010 campaign….it is alleged that the PM lives in South Trinidad, while the State has been housing  and feeding and transporting the PM’s sister and three of her nephews.
Yesterday the PNM’s right wing defender Marlene McDonald get a little touch of the political accusations football and make a dash down the flank, accusing the PM of abusing State resources once again. The PM seemed caught with her pants down when reporters questioned her. She denied  that they were driving PM1. Which is ironic since radio personality Tony Lee of i95.5 reported seeing Ms Newton exiting PM1 in the area of the NAPA building on Carnival Monday morning….and he admits he never saw anyone else exit the car….maybe he shoulda walk slower…because I feel he just missed the PM…she was there too…she really was…wasn’t she? Kamla wouldn’t lie about abusing state property would she? She did admit that her sister and family either visit or stay at the PM’s official residence from time to time. What does from time to time mean? Are we likely to hear in a couple days or weeks that in fact the reports we are hearing have more than a grain of truth to them and that the PM is indeed abusing state property? Will we hear too that the Govt Travel Card has been abused by the PM also?

Now, if the PNM follows its regular playbook, then they giving the PM rope with which to hang herself. On every occasion that this Opposition has laid accusations at the Government’s feet they have had documentary evidence with which to back things up….hark back recently to the Shoppin Toppin card scandal…Roodal Moonilal take plenty basket when The Keith raised the issue in Parliament and implied that the bill was $4000. Moonilal couldn’t scoff hard enough at the figure…ignoring that the real issue here is not the amount of money, but the abuse of the card….he loudly proclaimed to Rowley, that the card done pay off….what is $4000?  Days later when the statements were leaked to the media it’s almost $70,000 worth of credit card debt and at least 4 breaches of policy for use of the credit card…..so Kamla, for your sake, I hope the PNM aint have more dirt on you and you aint get ketch in a big fat dirty lie….oh, who am I kidding…I hope they have the dirt….because your constant misspeaking, misstepping, nepotism and corruption has me thoroughly disgusted with your failed brand of female leadership!

Me aint know about you, but Claxton Bay seems like more of a hotspot than Beetham and Laventille these days….between homes being firebombed, maxis transporting workers being attacked and general protest actions, that TCL Strike zone sounding like a war zone. And I fear it will only get worse as strikers become more and more frustrated over the continued running of the cement plant by strike breakers. Keep an eye folks. Unless some settlement happens soon, I am expecting a further outbreak of violence.

And speaking of Beetham, looks like reprisal murders are heating up in the neighbourhood and a turf war may erupt….but Maxis transporting workers should be safe.

Oh, CAL owing Airports Authority $60m. And there is the possibility that Cable & Wireless might be considering selling its stake in TSTT. These are two crucial business stories to keep your eyes on.

By the way, Kamla’s hope that new oil finds are going to boost the economy have been rubbished by Colm Imbert, who has pointed out that the country isn’t likely to see any benefits from it in under three years since exploration is only now underway.

Imbert also implied that the numerous anto-Govt protests in South Trinidad were actually orchestrated by UNC elements. If this is so, then Jack Warner has proven to be more savvy than the man who it is alleged is trying to oust him from the party, Suruj Rambachan. Rambachan claiming these days that he is at Jack’s mercy. Which is too funny and ironic. The other irony is that after all the grand charging and removal of the PURE programme from under Warner, the Prime Minister has returned it to him in order to return peace to the constituencies….one wonders who really advises Kamla and her Deck of Fools. Jack didn’t choose his ministry by accident. If nothing else Jack understands politics…he understands that the most prominent and visible ministry (apart from Housing) is Works and Transport. Jack Warner is probably the only government minister that appears to be working. And while he is involved in 3 Fifa-related scandals, most Trinidadians have justified it to themselves that the scandals Jack involved in are external to the Govt….no one can say his hands have been caught in the State cookie jar…..so in short, Kamla’s most obviously corrupt minister is also her hardest worker….And in interfering with the Ministry of Works she has undermined the appearance of efficiency in her government….if you can’t even fix roads and box drains then what is your purpose????? You know how Trinis like to see drain building, and roads paving….you stop dat too? Yuh Mad??????

Kamla has missed her window of opportunity to get rid of Warner….there was a time when she had the majority of the population behind her, convinced that this Minister was too corrupt to be in government…but in recent months Jack, who has been battling a subtle plot to oust him from the party, appears to have a cleaner nose than most. How can Kamla justify removing Jack now in light of missteps from Shoppin Toppin and Fuad Card? Especially since Jack can point to numerous road projects that have made a difference to citizen’s commuting daily. Sorry, Kamla, opportunity gone…Jack is here to stay….the level of support the rest of the party has to throw behind Ashvani shows that Jack has a  stronger following in the party than even I anticipated. So I think that Jack is going to be back after March 24th.

The behaviour of this government in general has serious implications for the rest of the society. When the average citizen is struggling to manage an existence here with poor roads, bad health care, constant traffic, poor customer service, a flawed education system, and so many other facilities and infrastructure missing it has to grind and grate on people’s nerves to see the PM and her ministers abusing state funds and living luxuriously, sharing the wealth with their close friends and family, while little to no economic growth takes place in the country….couple that with the continued criminal activity and murder toll…and well….This Govt HAS FAILED.

In fact, while the No Confidence Motion received a thorough beat down in the Parliament on March 2nd and 3rd….it seems that in the Parliament of public consciousness Rowley’s actions have been far more successful. More and more citizens are fed up with the government, fed up with the almost daily scandals and bussing of new marks. Every morning I get up and turn on my computer to read the newspapers I wonder to myself, what new and disgusting thing going to come from this government today….and they haven’t let me down. The only confidence I have in this government is that it is going to continue to fail.

De Vice Cyah Done.

Crimeclusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 21mts, 25dys: Poachers’ Rights!

San Fernando Mayor MArlene Coudray...did the UNC hunt her down? Photo courtesy Trinidad Guardian website.

 

 

Well yesterday we thought the Red Howler monkeys was the endangered specie of the day….but is apparently COP members.

Marlene Coudray ups and leave the COP in one breath, and join the UNC and end up as a candidate in their internal elections in the next breath….easy easy so….and without so much as a bye your leave to her political leader…after all she is a big woman!

Chairman of of the COP, Joseph Toney vex to buss and he warning the UNC don’t poach, or else the People’s Panchayat go mash up!  We go believe that when it come out Prakash mouth….you know how you boy fraid to lose he seat in Parliament! And to add insult to injury Roodal Moonilal reminded the COP that their party started off by poaching its members and the UNC has room for all!  And in all of this Marlene Coudray cool, cool. How the saying does go again??? Tief from Tief does make God Laugh!

Anybody keeping an eye on CAL? Apparently the company owe the Treasury real $$$$$$ in aviation fuel….how come nobody aint pulling up on them?

Gypsy well boof up constituents in Mayaro last night when he and them clash over bad roads. If you missed his meltdown on the news last night check it out here.

Well ah hear Shoppin Toppin had to apologise after Fuad Khan issue he apology and further to that she credit card get cancelled.

Ms Toppin, I want you to resign! Your apology for abuse of public funds is inadequate and late!

Further to that, I do believe you are lying when you say you were unaware of how the card was supposed to be used. In fact, every time you open your mouth about the card your lies become larger and larger.

The smart and honourable thing to do is step down….we don’t want dishonest and arrogant public officers like you!

TCL strike beginning to get very disturbing, when is not Maxi getting stoned, and Mayo residents’ water source being interfered with is homes getting firebombed. Is one thing to strike for better pay, but why so things have to get to violent? Roget, what is your position on this?

Speaking of fiery protests, Penal residents still vex with Kamla. And they have vowed to keep protesting until the Prime Minister, who is also their MP, meets with them because they are fed up of her empty promises…..imagine that…Kamla does make empty promises….you don’t say!

The upcoming Law Association elections looking stickier and stickier every week. Now their Head administrator resigned and Seetahal says no-comment. Keep an eye on this election folks…it might be more crucial than the UNC internals!

The Integrity Commission Tribunal anxious to probe the matter of Gladys de Badiss. Long time my favourite stalwart aint make the news! And it look like the Judge for Gladys case might have to recuse himself too….just now we will run out of people who could question Gladys!

In more news about people who don’t work and drawing big salary…..no, not the PM, I talking about The Hot shot Top Cop, Gibbs. The Commish is reported as saying there is tension between him and the PSC. Maybe because he got a negative performance appraisal…I wonder what Gibbs woulda say if he got a good appraisal…and what he think he really accomplish in the last 21months and 25days? And where the Crime Plan??????

 

ah boy….between credit card fraud, poaching each others party members, and non-performance by this government De Vice Cyah Done!

Crime Clusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 21mts, 24dys:

Lawd...what to say about this pic? Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

 

Well is UNC Internal Elections weeks folks and I want to start with a rousing VIVE LE BAS!

The veteran politician comes out swinging in these last few days before the internal elections promising legal action in light of voter list irregularities already apparent in the UNC. Roughly 25,000 people are eligible to vote on the UNC voter list, a list that De bas alleges Roodal Moonilal refuses to make available to him. I don’t think Take Back D UNC stands a chance at this internal poll, and NACTA’s latest poll seems to be having the same feeling. but I think that for Bas to provide an alternative slate for people fed up with the sewage passing for leadership in this party is a commendable thing….VIVE LE BAS!!!!!

Sando Mayor Marlene Coudray has jumped the COP ship and is now seeking a position on the UNC Executive slate…..and it seems Prakash wasn’t told…..oh no! Well Marlene, what I go tell you…you clearly find if everybody else going to eat ah food, you want to sit at the table and eat ah food with them too, eh! I love these selfless politicians we have here.

The COP bleed has only just begun…..expect to see more COP vampires heading over entirely to the UNC in search of a better feeding ground.

Kamla and Jack in happier times.

It seems the next 5 days will make or break Jack Warner. The party cobos seem to already be circling waiting on his corpse. Soon we will see if the concerted campaign that has been waged against Warner has worked.

The list of nominees for the UNC Internal Elections are here.

In TCL news, it appears that Mayo villagers facing the brunt of this industrial dispute as their water supply has been disrupted as part of recent measures to deal with the strike.

In more environment news, the government that just last week shut down quarrying in the Blanchisseuse Valley is currently considering cutting through several valleys to build a road from Morvant to Tucker Valley. I just love how they mindful of the environment.

And, in further Calder Hart Quarry follow up news, EMA CEO admits that all mining activities at the quarry were legal and all procedures were properly followed. So, again…WHY WAS THE QUARRY SHUT DOWN????????

Imagine the name Sunway Construction and Calder Hart have this much influence over a government, boy…..how much more business the People’s Panchayat doing with Sunway boy????????

Anyhow folks, keep an eye out for Shoppin Toppin and JAck Warner this week…..the two of them under pressure….and pressure does buss pipe.

 

De Vice Cyah Done!

Crimeclusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 21 mts, 19dys:

Folks, it becoming very hard for me to keep up with the many stories and angles to this new scandal with the PM’s travel assistant, Vidwatie Newton. The trajectory goes:

  1.  The Indian Government has paid for travel expenses to India
  2. I paid for my sister out of my own pocket.
  3. The treasury has been paying for all of Ms Newton’s travel expenses
  4. Kamla speaks out to say this is allowed because it happened under previous Prime Ministers
  5. Kamla now insists that she tried to pay with a check but her $$$$ was refused.

I am convinced that by midday today we will hear another story. Because this govt is a fiction machine and churns them out faster than the Sweet Valley High series. The latest story claims the PM’s money was refused. Or so I have been advised that the PM has been advised. And the Express’ sources are an unnamed past public servant  who constantly reminded us that it was “unprecedented” to have a female PM and an unnamed Minister who both claim the PM did nothing wrong. My questions would be, if past Prime Ministers had male protocol officers, why couldn’t a female protocol officer be hired for the PM?  Why give the nation so many different stories? Why lie and say you paid out of your pocket when you clearly never did? And still, what are these needs you have that are specific to a female? The story talks about clothes being ironed, and medication being taken….that’s not gender specific. And why are we paying Ms Newton a per diem, and buying an “assistant” first class tickets?
Is your travel assistant living at La Fantaisie Road while you live in Siparia? Is she also using the PM’s official car, while you use the helicopter?

When questioned about the claims she made about President Robinson, the PM deflected and referred to an unnamed Public Servant as her source. In short some unidentified person in the government told the PM that other PMs have done this and it was on that basis that she did what she did.

The Prime Minister all but said eff you to the nation yesterday when pressed by reporters about her sister functioning as her travel assistant. I have nothing more to say. What else is there to say? People are always going to complain!
We’ve just witnessed the PM use national funds, money from the treasury, indiscriminately and you are basically telling us Madam PM that you don’t need to explain anything to the country, or do better. I guess we should put our fingers on our lips, right?

Vernella Alleyne-Toppin. Photo courtesy Trinidad Guardian's website.

Following closely in the footsteps of her leader, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin yesterday refused to accept that she had done anything wrong. Instead, in a loud, strident voice she continues to claim that she did nothing wrong, is a person of intergrity, was unaware that she wasn’t supposed to use the card in the way she did. I guess the louder she says she didn’t do anything wrong, while there is a paper trail to show otherwise; and the louder she claims to be a woman of integrity, while there is a paper trail to show otherwise, we must believe her. It was left to the executive of Shoppin-Toppin’s political party the TOP to upbraid her.
But the TOP didn’t hire and appoint Shoppin Toppin….it was the voters of Trinidad and Tobago and the PM….what’s the PM’s position on this? Is she going to tell us, “Move on.”

This TOP in its categoric condemnation of Toppin’s behaviour also blamed the Ministry of Finance for allowing the misuse of the credit card to continue…Dooks what you have to say boy? And I doubt very much that Shoppin Toppin is going to apologise.

SO, in short, we have 2 incidences of Wrong and Strong Female Leadership. Both the Prime Minister and a Government Minister have abused public funds and refuse to apologise….and in the PM’s case I don’t expect to see an end to the behaviour.

In more People’s Panchayat news  the PM has been advised that there is no ultimatum from the MSJ. I confused….the MSJ there are problems within the partnership, and they giving you 2 months to address it….oh, sorry, that’s just a deadline. My bad.

The Hot Shot Top Cops can’t be disciplined or fired….and the Police Service Welfare President is hopping mad and has called the Police service Commission a toothless bulldog! Let’s face the truth Deosaran, Gibbs won’t be fired. He’s not a public servant, nor is Ewatski. They here to stay. No government gets rid of its Fall Guy if it can help it.

Little Jack Warner facing some FIFA hot water again as a German journalist and cameraman followed him around on site visits to protesting communities yesterday. Warner was yesterday drumming up support for his UNC internal elections bid for party chairman. He went on record to say sorry to protesting villagers for the poor road conditions. All part of his consistent campaign to get PURE put back into his hands. Why do we have a man embroiled in so much corruption in FIFA still functioning as a govt minister here?

Yesterday the Minister of Transport jumped into the fray in support of Maxi Drivers. And it almost come like a case of himself protesting against himself….so I wondering, Devant have a fleet of Maxi he want to change ownership on? He have a horse in this race????

And the latest at Asa Wright Nature Centre is that the mining has stopped….for how long…we don’t know…but we keeping an eye…and no government minister has bothered to explain why this Govt is still in bed with Sunway Construction…a company they vilified during their election campaign of 2010.

De Vice Cyah Done!